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Results: 1 - 15 of 101
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-12 11:26 [p.10753]
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague and thank him for introducing this very important bill.
My colleague from Lévis—Lotbinière had a life-changing experience in his day. I wonder if he could briefly share with us what this kind of support would have meant to him when he was facing a similar situation to the one that many other Canadians are currently going through.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-12 11:50 [p.10757]
Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure and privilege of rising today to speak to Bill C-215, which was introduced by my very good friend and colleague, the member for Lévis—Lotbinière.
I want to start by thanking him for introducing this very important bill. He has shown a lot of initiative in continuing to exert pressure to get this bill passed. This bill is completely non-partisan, and I think that all members should support it in order to improve the lives of many Canadians across the country.
We have all heard so many stories about people in our ridings and especially in our personal lives who have been diagnosed with cancer or who have been seriously injured. These people do not have it easy. They are facing some very serious challenges. That is why it is so important to pass a bill like this one to help our most vulnerable constituents.
Take, for example, a roofer who breaks his back on the job and is unable to return to work for months, only to then be diagnosed with cancer. After his surgery, he cannot return to work for a long time. According to the current wording of the act, he is entitled to only 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits. If a person in such a situation is not yet ready to go back to work after 15 weeks and has not been authorized to do so by their doctor, they can end up in a very precarious situation.
I hardly need to remind my colleagues that not everyone has family members to share their financial burden, nor can everyone live off their savings for more than 15 weeks.
According to a study, this kind of problem affects over 151,000 people in Canada every year. That works out to about 450 people in every riding in this country, so it is a big problem. That is a staggering number. These people are our neighbours, our friends, even our family members. We live in a country with a great EI system, but the government has not yet taken steps to extend benefit periods for these kinds of serious and rare cases.
In our country, many vulnerable Canadians may one day fall ill. We need a compassionate system that allows for all possible situations. We need to create a real safety net that will make Canadians feel safe and, most importantly, let them know they have the time they need to get better and will not be forced to go back to work before they are fully healed.
At some point or other, 55% of Canadians will need EI. It is unavoidable, and that is the reason we need to review legislation such as the Employment Insurance Act and try to find ways to enhance it. Experts say that this law needs to be amended to change the current maximum of 15 weeks. We must listen to the experts and work with them to make these changes correctly. All parties need to be heard, and all options need to be considered.
Some members may be concerned about the possibility of fraud or abuse if we increase the number of weeks of sickness benefits. I want to assure my colleagues that this legislation is solid and includes many protection measures to avoid these types of problems. The EI system is extremely well monitored and audited as a whole to catch potential fraudsters. A doctor's note or certificate is still needed to receive EI payments. The timeline is recommended by health care professionals.
I firmly believe that we must trust our health care providers, who do such important work day after day, to diagnose illnesses and suggest an amount of sick leave for each individual that is fair and based on science. We need to trust our health care system to do things properly.
I would like to remind all members that one of the promises the Conservatives made in 2021 was to increase the EI sickness benefit limit beyond 15 weeks, and we plan to keep that promise with this bill.
The same bill was introduced in the past, but unfortunately it never received royal assent. I clearly remember that the Bloc Québécois and the NDP both supported our bill the last time it was introduced, and I sincerely hope that we can count on that support again this time. I sincerely hope that the NDP-Liberal coalition will see that this bill is a really good law and that it will help all Canadians.
I know that some members will still have doubts or questions about the bill. Are we going too far? What about Canadians who have private insurance?
Rest assured that there is nothing to be concerned about. First, Canadians do not want to be ill or to be confined to their homes. We know that, in most cases, they return to work as soon as they can.
Also, anyone who has private insurance must use up their weeks of private sick leave before applying for the federal program. In most cases, they will be able to return to work without ever having to use Service Canada's EI system. This bill will have no impact on our SMEs' private insurance systems. The federal program will simply be there as a safety net in certain extenuating circumstances.
This measure is affordable for the government and it is an entirely reasonable thing to do. Not only is it reasonable, but it is the fairest thing to do. Many Canadians pay into EI for their entire lives and never have to use it. Other Canadians are not so lucky and have to use this safety net to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
I believe that our constituents, who have paid taxes and contributed to social programs their entire lives, deserve to be looked after when a crisis hits their families. They deserve to feel protected by the government and respected for all they have done for society.
As inflation and high interest rates continue to hit Canadians hard, we need to assure them that we are there for them when they really need us.
In closing, this bill seeks to give Canadians the dignity they deserve and the help they need when they need it most. As I mentioned earlier in my speech, we are talking about our neighbours, friends and sometimes even our family members. Misfortune or illness can befall anyone at any time. Long-term illnesses and major accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. All elected officials have a duty to amend any law that they think is inadequate. I think that is what this bill does.
I want to wish all of my constituents and all Canadians good luck, health and happiness this Christmas season. If anything bad does happen in their lives, I want them to know that the Conservative Party will support them by passing Bill C-215.
I am very proud to have had the opportunity to speak to this bill today. I would like to once again thank the member for Lévis—Lotbinière for his hard work on this file and for defending the interests of vulnerable Canadians across the country.
I truly hope that we can unanimously pass this bill quickly here in the House so that it can receive a royal recommendation. It is a bill that we can all be very proud of.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-09 11:08 [p.10721]
Madam Speaker, this week, a panel of Canadian sports journalists chose the winner of the Northern Star Award, which is given annually to Canada's athlete of the year. This year, this prestigious award goes to Beauce's own Marie‑Philip Poulin, who proudly wore the letter “C” at the last Olympic Games and, along with her entire team, brought home gold for women's hockey.
She is now one of four legendary Quebec hockey players to have won this award, along with Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux and Maurice Richard. Also this week, Ms. Poulin became the very first member of the women's hockey team to be inducted into the hall of fame at Boston University, where she played with the Terriers for four years.
Marie-Philip Poulin continues to be an inspiration for young and old alike, not only in Beauce, but across the country. She proves day after day that passion and hard work can lead to greatness.
Congratulations once again to our beloved number 29. To Beauce, she will always be number one.
Bravo, Marie‑Philip Poulin.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-08 11:29 [p.10638]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
I would like him to explain how this tax affects Canadian agriculture as a whole. We are pork, chicken and grain exporters.
What impact will this tax have if our farmers' prices go up compared to other countries? Will our farmers be able to sell their products? They will have to sell them at a loss on the international market. What is he going to tell people in his riding of Mirabel?
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-08 16:17 [p.10680]
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Lethbridge for her excellent and heartfelt speech on agriculture.
Today, I rise to speak to the Conservative Party's opposition motion, which seeks to cancel the carbon tax on food inputs and production. There is a great deal of partisanship and many different points of view in the House, but today I hope we can shed light on the situation that farming families are facing in Canada.
Everything has become more expensive in this country. Canadian families are struggling to put food on the table. Seniors and low-income Canadians are having a hard time paying their bills and heating their homes. They are even finding it difficult to keep the lights on because they have so little money. The cost of food is at a 40-year high. I find it hard to believe that the current government cannot see that its policies have caused the cost of food to increase here in Canada. The Liberals cannot blame the pandemic or the war in Ukraine. It is a problem that they have created. The carbon tax is preventing family farms from being viable. With the government's plan to triple the tax in January, things will only get worse before getting better.
According to “Canada's Food Price Report 2023”, a typical farm will pay a carbon tax of $150,000 per year when the tax increases in the new year. Family farms simply cannot afford this punitive tax.
The Liberals and New Democrats seem to be fine with bankrupting our farmers to feed their selfish ideology. Canadians need to eat. The data speaks for itself: This carbon tax does not work. This government has not met a single one of its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in this country. We are far behind the rest of the world when it comes to finding tangible ways to limit pollution in this country. We currently rank 58th out of 63 countries, according to the latest studies.
I found the questions asked by the Liberals and other opposition parties today quite amusing. For those parties to stand up and say that our party does not believe in climate change is very comical. We are very much aware of the impact climate change is having around the world and in our country. My family has been farming for over 175 years on our family farm in Beauce.
In committee, all parties supported Bill C-234, a bill from a member of our party that seeks to add natural gas and propane for heating buildings and drying grain to the carbon tax exemption. However, this motion does not go far enough.
We cannot just pretend that our country is not facing food insecurity and poverty. Many families can barely put food on the table these days. Food bank use is at an all-time high in Canada. There were 1.5 million visits to food banks in March 2022. It is frankly a disgrace. Why can we not find solutions to the problem of food prices without being accused of denying climate change?
After seeing a massive 20% increase in people using its food bank, Moisson Beauce in my riding noted that one-third of its clients were children. We Conservatives are compassionate. We want to find a way to bring down food prices across the country, and that begins on the farm by eliminating the carbon tax. Not only has this government messed up with its carbon tax, but it has also decided to impose an extremely unfair 35% tariff on fertilizer needed by farmers. It also plans to limit fertilizer emissions by 30% without even analyzing the impact this could have on our farmers' yields.
This government is so out of touch. People in my riding are skipping meals to stay afloat financially. That is outrageous. I am starting to get the measure of this government, since I have been here since 2019.
After I finish my speech, a Liberal member will no doubt stand up to tell me that I do not know what I am talking about because the federal carbon tax does not apply in Quebec. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change loves reminding me about that in the most condescending way possible. I actually have a very good understanding of how it works in my province, and that comment is not even remotely true. Our province does business with every other province in the country, and they are all subject to this tax on food production. Whether the Liberals want to believe it or not, this tax affects every province and territory in the country because it affects the goods we import from other provinces and the transportation of those goods to put on our tables.
Now I would like to take a moment to thank our Canadian farm families and share some interesting statistics about their work. One study found that only 8% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions come from the agricultural sector. Does anyone know the average in the rest of the world? It is 26%. Our farmers are very advanced. They care deeply about the environment and are constantly adapting and adopting more environmentally friendly practices. Instead of thanking these hard-working Canadians, the government continues to demonize farmers collectively.
The Liberals recently outlined their plan to reduce fertilizer use in Canada by 30% by 2030. However, as I mentioned earlier, no studies have been done to show what impact this will have on our yields in the future. This will ultimately be an extremely expensive and unscientific plan that could not come at a worse time for Canadian agriculture and its consumers. The reality is that farmers are already outperforming the rest of the world in terms of sustainability. In fact, Canadian farmers are already up to 70% more efficient in their use of fertilizers and fertilizer supplements than other countries, on average.
Food prices have risen by more than 10% in the last year, and these avoidable increases will eventually make things worse. Grain drying and other sectors will be seriously affected by the Liberal carbon tax increase. Canadian grains are a very important commodity for our country. They are a major source of nutrition, but also one of our major exports. When natural gas and propane are taxed on top of other taxes, farmers have to wonder if they will even bother planting those crops the next season. Their margins will evaporate, and it will be no longer profitable for many of them to do business here in Canada.
In conclusion, we need to seriously re-evaluate many of these Liberal environmental plans. We need to clear the way for our farmers to feed our nation healthy, affordable food. The only way to reduce food inflation is to lower input costs, not triple them. Families want to shop local and eat Canadian products, but lately local produce has become increasingly expensive due to this government's mismanagement of priorities. How can local strawberries cost more at the grocery store in the summer, here at home, than strawberries from California? Our system is broken. Meanwhile, other countries are supporting their agricultural sector. Considering these foreign products are shipped to Canada, whether by plane, train, ship or truck, how can the government not see that this is what is really causing climate change?
This country needs to be more self-sufficient and more competitive. We need to look after Canadians by voting in and implementing meaningful changes in appropriate sectors. I therefore invite my colleagues opposite to carefully consider this motion. They can even propose amendments. The fact is, Canadians need lower food prices, and farmers need our help to remain profitable so our family farms can keep operating and feeding our people.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-08 16:28 [p.10681]
Madam Speaker, to hear my colleague tell it, it is like nothing happened in the past year.
As I see it, what we really need to talk about is this government's mismanagement of many of the programs that were created.
I do not dispute that the CERB was very important initially, but it should have been adjusted. We have said so repeatedly during question period and over the past year. Incorrect payments were made.
What really matters right now is not tripling this tax as of 2023, because it will jeopardize Canadians' ability to feed themselves.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-08 16:29 [p.10682]
Madam Speaker, first, we are not off to a good start because, just yesterday, at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Minister of Agriculture was not even able to differentiate between family businesses and individuals when asked a question by one of my colleagues.
We are being told that people benefit from a carbon tax rebate that is equivalent to what they paid, but that is only the case for individuals, not businesses like family farms. Even the minister did not know that, but we must not forget that 95% of farms in Canada are family farms, which are not eligible for the same tax rebate.
The government is penalizing our agricultural industry and our food supply at the same time.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-08 16:31 [p.10682]
Madam Speaker, I think that is really unsustainable for agricultural businesses. There will be significant losses and business closures if we do not put a stop to this carbon tax on agriculture.
I want to reiterate that this morning's motion does not seek to suspend the carbon tax on everything, but only on the inputs needed to produce food and to support our ability to feed the planet, because Canada is a major food exporter.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-07 14:57 [p.10555]
Mr. Speaker, I hope to get an answer to my question.
Once again, the government has shown that it does not have its priorities straight with its amendments to Bill C‑21. Hunters and farmers in my riding are extremely concerned about their ability to put food on the table and, more importantly, to protect their livestock from predators and other threats.
When will the government stop targeting law-abiding gun owners and finally go after the real illegal gun traffickers?
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-06 14:01 [p.10492]
Mr. Speaker, this year, families can finally get together to celebrate over a nice Christmas dinner. However, during this time of celebration, we must not forget that some people, for all sorts of reasons, cannot afford a nice meal, period.
This is the time of year to give generously. Food banks need our help now more than ever. According to the Moisson Beauce website, in my riding alone, one-third of the 12,500 monthly requests for food aid filled by its network of organizations are for children. I invite all those who can to give to these food banks. That is the real spirit of Christmas.
I would like to say a big thank you to the volunteers at these many organizations who take the time to collect food donations, prepare food, and make up food hampers. In Beauce, food donations can be made through some 50 organizations, including the Comité d'aide de Beauceville, the Source de Sainte-Marie, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and, of course, Moisson Beauce.
I hope that everyone will be able to sit down to a nice meal this holiday season. Merry Christmas and happy new year to everyone.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-06 15:36 [p.10509]
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my hon. colleague on his excellent speech.
He talked a lot about rural areas across Canada. I wonder if he could elaborate on what he would have liked to see in this budget statement. I agree with him that there is not much in this statement for rural areas.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-06 15:51 [p.10510]
Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle for her presentation.
I just have one question. She talked a lot about her riding. I assume that, like me, she saw very little in the way of improvements to telecommunications and the cellular network. In my opinion, concrete action is needed to improve the cellular network as a matter of public safety.
Could the member share her thoughts on that?
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-06 17:53 [p.10528]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C‑32, which seeks to implement the government's fall economic statement.
To be clear, let me just say that my pleasure stems not from the content of the bill, but rather from the fact that I get to stand up and be the voice of Canadians and the people of Beauce regarding what should have been included in the bill.
To begin with, I would like to take a moment to denounce the inflation created by the Liberal government itself. With punitive policies like the carbon tax, this government is destroying local businesses while at the same time driving up grocery prices. This out-of-touch government has also imposed an equally disastrous fertilizer tariff on farmers. Even as our country grapples with the worst food inflation in 40 years, the worst since the days of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, as I recall, the government is still looking to line its pockets with new taxes. Ours is the only G7 country to have imposed a tariff on fertilizer during the most difficult time in recent years.
Food bank use is growing so quickly that organizations in my riding, such as Moisson Beauce, are struggling to meet demand. In Beauce, a third of new food bank users are children. This government refuses to look in the mirror and admit its shortcomings. The Conservatives have been fighting for months against these taxes and tariffs, but this NDP-Liberal coalition has a hidden agenda, so it refuses to do the right thing. As a country, we should be taking care of the things that we can control. Everything starts in our own backyard. We need to help farmers lower production costs so that, by the time the food they produce gets to store shelves, people can afford to feed their family. Currently, one in five Canadians is skipping meals to stay afloat financially. That is shameful. This needs to change.
In this budget, agriculture is not even a minor priority for this government. We would think that after seven years, the Prime Minister would understand that feeding our population is essential and that it starts at the farm. Farmers have been ignored long enough. It is time to give them the tools they need to grow our economy and produce affordable food for everyone. This is a powerful economic driver for our country, and we have to exploit its full potential. We just need a leader who can open his eyes and see that.
Similarly, I would like to draw members' attention to another failed Liberal plan, the plan to open our Canadian borders to all Ukrainian meat products. The Conservatives are all for supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia, but there are much better ways of doing it. On Friday, in a press release, the government authorized import permits for unlimited quantities of chicken from Ukraine, without even conducting an impact analysis to see how that would affect the Canadian markets. To top it all off, the Liberals did not even consult stakeholders before signing this agreement.
Our American counterparts put off accepting Ukrainian meat for food safety reasons, and I cannot blame them. We could provide Ukraine with financial support while helping famine-hit countries closer to it by sending them those products. This is not just about taking care of our country's food system first. It is also a matter of global food safety. The last time the Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspected a chicken factory in Ukraine was in 2019, yet the government expects sanitary conditions to have remained the same in a war-torn country. How can this government be so naive?
Furthermore, given that this government promised to protect supply management, why did it sign this agreement to open up the market after stating over and over that it would make no further concessions with respect to supply management? The Liberal government is playing with fire at a time when we must be extremely vigilant.
Avian flu is becoming more prevalent in North America, and the problem is just as bad in Europe. Countries such as Poland, one of Ukraine's neighbours, have had several cases of avian flu in recent months. How can we have any assurance that imported meat is safe if we have no protective measures in place?
I would now like to move on to another topic, that of immigration in this country.
Canada's immigration system is broken. The Liberal minister rises in this place, makes bold promises and uses the same talking points every day, but nothing is happening in that department.
Every day, my two offices in Beauce receive multiple requests for updates from people who need help and from business owners about the system backlog. According to recent studies, there is a backlog of 2.3 million applications. Whether we are talking about applications for permanent residence, work permits or sponsorship, everything is at a standstill because of the government's poor management. Businesses in my riding are losing contracts and threatening to move abroad because they cannot get the temporary foreign workers they need in time.
Doctors are waiting for work permits and documents when they could be working in local hospitals and helping my constituents. It is shocking. It is not just the immigration system in this country that is broken. Name any department and there is a good chance that it is broken as well. Whether it is Service Canada with pensions, the guaranteed income supplement or the passport fiasco, the list of failures goes on and on.
When my staffers talk to employees on the phone, it is clear that things are disorganized and there does not appear to be any direction from the top. Employees are bouncing from department to department, burning the candle at both ends.
Training has slowed to a crawl, and most officers are too junior to help with complex cases. Some employees are still working from home. When is the government going to get its public servants back in the office and on track to better serve our communities?
The workers cannot be blamed for the government's incompetence. I sincerely respect these officers and the tough job they do, but something has to change. There is only so much they can do with the tools they have been given.
Now I want to touch on some issues that my colleagues have often heard me talk about here in the House. Rural Canadians are being left in the lurch. My riding does not have public transportation. We have to drive to get to work and take our kids to their activities. The people of Beauce are hard-working, as evidenced by our 2.1% unemployment rate, which I believe is among the best in Canada. Unfortunately, the carbon tax is eating up Canadians' paycheques. Cell service and high-speed Internet are not even close to what they should be in 2022, but there is nothing in the budget to fix that problem either.
Now, this government also wants to prohibit my law-abiding constituents from owning certain hunting weapons. Many Canadians make their living in part from hunting. This is one way we feed our families, but the government wants to eliminate that option too.
I could go on and on, but since I am running out of time, I have a message for Canadians. The Conservative Party of Canada will continue to be there for them and fight for what Canadians need, which is more money in their pocket at the end of the week and healthy, affordable food on the table for our families this holiday season.
A Conservative government would have made much more tangible changes if we, the Conservatives, had had the opportunity to introduce our own budget. I hope that Canadians are taking note of what this NDP-Liberal government is doing to our country. The time for change is approaching, and I hope that the Liberal government will be held accountable for the disastrous choices it has made.
I will continue to defend the people of Beauce and all Canadians by condemning this inflationary government in the House at every opportunity.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-06 18:04 [p.10529]
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
I think that there are far too many problems with Bill C-32 for us to support it. With regard to all the money the government plans to spend, I think the government is just serving up leftovers, because these amounts were already allocated in previous budgets.
I wanted to raise one of my concerns today. The Liberal Party says that it supports supply management but, because of the measure that came into effect on Friday regarding Ukraine, we are now coming under heavy scrutiny from many countries around the world.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-06 18:06 [p.10530]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Drummond for his questions.
I will start with the last question. As far as health transfers are concerned, it is undeniable that the Conservative Party has always been in favour of respecting provincial jurisdictions. That is the most important thing to us. When we are in power, we will be there to help increase these sums.
As for the first question on firearms, I do not know if the situation is the same in my colleague's riding, but I just spent three full weekends touring my riding, and countless hunters talked to me about this issue. There is some real concern. I agree that there is still a lot of work to do, and my fear is that the bill will be passed too quickly and it will be botched.
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